A while back I wrote an article about the iconic Dirty Dozen, the mil-spec watches commissioned by the British Ministry of Defense at the end of WWII. These watches were perhaps the ideal field watch any Allied soldier wished they had but didn’t because they came out at the end of 1945. (A fact that doesn’t make them less relevant by the way.) Twelve brands answered the call, one of them being Timor. Unlike most other brands, Timor survived through the Quartz Crisis, however, it did so attempting to adapt itself to the changing market. After WWII, the brand went dormant for a while (although didn’t shut its doors down) then popped back up in the early 2000’s selling pocket watches in Asia. More recently, Timor was restarted and released two of its most iconic models: the A.T.P. and W.W.W., the latter we’re going to discuss here.
The Significance of the Modern Timor W.W.W.
Ever since the Dirty Dozen became cool and highly collectible, watch enthusiasts and collectors alike have been working hard to get their hands on vintage models in good condition. Or, they went the easier route of finding cheaper, modern homages, showcasing a variety of interpretations, some done tastefully, others not so much so. Personally, I’ve always been intrigued by the Dirty Dozen—as you probably realized given the fact that I dedicated an article to this family of watches—as I became passionate about their ultra purpose-driven nature and superlative legibility. But I was never interested in acquiring a vintage model because of how difficult it seems to find one in good condition, as I don’t like dealing with servicing vintage watches, and—based on the two aforementioned reasons—I wouldn’t dare wear it.
One of the twelve brands that make the Dirty Dozen was Vertex which was relaunched a few years ago and which makes modern versions of the original. As far as I know, Timor therefore created the most legitimate recreation of the Dirty Dozen with the model W.W.W. This is important because many would do anything to own a vintage Timor and now we can all buy an original recreation for cheaper than a vintage model in good condition. The modern Timor W.W.W. model retails for roughly $1,000.
The Modern Timor W.W.W.
When I said that the modern Timor W.W.W. is a legitimate recreation of the original, I meant it in more than one way. First, as we saw, from a historical point of view as Timor was one of the original brands that made the Dirty Dozen. Second, from a visual and specs perspective as we will now discuss. Visually, the modern and vintage models look almost identical, from the choice of the fence post hand to the black dial with small seconds sub-register at the 6 o’clock, the railroad minute track complete with luminescent plots at each hour marker, and the simple branding. (Note that a variant of the Timor W.W.W. came with syringe style hands.) From what I could tell, the Timor W.W.W. was actually released before the MOD commission, though both the vintage W.W.W. and Dirty Dozen models look identical.
What is also identical between the old and new are the watch dimensions: a diameter of 36.5mm, a thickness of 11mm, a lug-to-lug of 45.5mm, and a lug width of 18mm. These dimensions are period-correct which makes the modern Timor W.W.W. one of the rare 36mm Dirty Dozen recreations. Although the case of the vintage W.W.W. was made of plated stainless steel, the modern one is made of solid steel. However, the modern version received a sandblasted finish giving it a more tactical appearance than the original. In terms of movement, Timor offers either an automatic version powered by a Sellita SW260-1 or a manual wind Sellita SW216. (Whatever version you choose won’t affect the watch’s thickness.)
Unless I missed another important release, the Timor W.W.W. is the most legitimate recreation of an original Dirty Dozen W.W.W. watch. And Timor is the only brand of the twelve that makes such a watch, making this one even more special. If the W.W.W. is not your preferred 1940s field watch, Timor also makes a legitimate A.T.P. model complete with a white creamy dial and the same dimensions as the W.W.W. You can learn more about both models here.